tv Washington Journal CSPAN February 4, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EST
binghaman will talk about the oil markets. and we will talk to unemployment and jobs from economist stephen rose from georgetown university. "washington journal" is next. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] host: good morning. friday, february 4, 2011. the eyes of the world are on tahrir square in cairo as millions of egypt leave mosques and had to the square. protesters set today as the deadline for the departure for egyptian president hosni mubarak. of the government will react, how protesters will react, we want to know as the day unfolds. all lines are open during the first hour. if we will show you a number of that editorial. we will have live pictures from protestersegypt's setting friday as the parcher
day, deadline for the existing government. good friday morning to you. a couple of things as we start -- later on we will have two united states senators, senator roger wicker of mississippi and senator jeff bingaman of new mexico, chairman of the energy committee, we will talk to both of them about the crisis in egypt, what it means for the united states and domestic issues. later on, jobs -- as a critical number comes out today on the employment rates -- what is happening in the american job market. but we will begin with a full hour talking about what is happening in egypt. on the phone is dan murphy who writes for the "christian science monitor," and he is on scene in the square as the prayer day is finished and people are coming back to their
homes and out to the streets. what are you seeing? >guest: i was in a square up until a half an hour ago -- but i was there all morning. but seeing tens of thousands of people, clearly maybe as many as 100,000. it is hard to calculate crowd size. we are not seeing the pro-regime thugs that were unleashed a few days ago that lead to unrest and casualties. there is a sense of hope but also anticipation that maybe they have not seen at the regime's worse yet from the democracy protesters there. as a of a half an hour ago, incredibly upbeat, incredibly and powered -- joint prayer is, lots of egyptian were weeping, service and they have not experienced before, at least in 30 years. host: what are using
demographically? guest: all ages, but probably fewer women and children then there have been in days past. i think that after the major crackdown a couple of days ago and the way all of the international and local media was harassed basically, people were bracing for omar suleiman, the vice president, to perhaps put the boots in. i spoke to a number of people who said they wanted to bring their children but didn't. there are lots of women there. but lott -- by and large, 70% male crowd. host: i heard there were check points going into the square to check for weapons. is that something you saw? guest: something i experience. host: who is running the checkpoints? guest: well, that is interesting. there are two big american paid for the tanks at the end of the
bridge, one of the main bridges that lead right to the square. behind the tanks, a few soldiers were relaxed and friendly with us. there were people calling themselves the shabab, regular folks, not part of an organization. generally running the security. we saw a few thousand people lined up to go through pat downs, have ids checked, separate lines for women. that is all being run by this kind of informal organization that sprung itself up to provide everything from medical care to distributing water, to security in and around the square. h., a couple of questions -- first of all, yesterday was a day of some violence and arrest of some supporters. what is today like for journalists? guest: officially, i don't have a video camera which makes me less a target. i was walking around with one of the staff photographers.
did not get harassed been a meaningful way. when we came out, a fellow i knew to be a state intelligence agents standing with a bunch of guys in uniforms on a back street -- she showed him all her pictures. there were about 400 on her car. he let her keep the camera and did not erase any of them. that was the closest thing we experienced to harassment. we are not hearing reports of trouble. i suspect after the major crackdown on the reporters, including human rights watch and amnesty international workers, i suspect overnight into -- in egypt there lots of phone calls from the white house and other capitals. host: you describe this as this people power, more or less, this los organization structure. today has been declared as a departure day, deadline day, but who is declaring it and when
would it -- will we know the deadline is reached? guest: that is a marketing slogan as much as anything else. nobody at the square was saying mubarak, if not by midnight, we will burn the city or riot. they are insisting they are peaceful. insisting that they will essentially continue to stay. while they call today departure date, i still very much doubt that hosni mubarak is going to step down, particularly after some of the figures digging in their heels yesterday. they are vowing to continue. clearly on the government side, there are hoping to weaken these people out, get them exhausted, maybe create enough fear, chaos, and doubt that a large number drift away and then it will be business as usual. host: how are you going to watch today's event? guest: i am going to file a story for our own morning deadline, and then get back out
there. i have been watching a lot of aljazeera english and my hotel because that allowed cameras out there but my understanding is a lot of the live cameras, maybe one or two other international agencies, were pulled down. but i just walked back in the door. guest: you'll host: how long the been in the country? guest: just two days, but i lived here for five years. host: dan murphy of the christian science monitor. thank you so much. let's stick to your telephone calls. i've got lots of articles -- and our editorial and op-ed pages. we will hear from the washington bureau chief of al arabiya, competing news channel to aljazeera.
both seen globally. he and his team have been reporting on it from on location and from other bureaus, including here in washington, and he will at his perspective. let's begin with a phone call from shreveport, louisiana. steve, republican. caller: yes, ma'am. this has to do with egypt and in general with the whole middle east. please, let me finish my comments because this regards the whole package. unfortunately because of retaliation i cannot say what country i am coming from. most of the people in the least to not have what it takes for the leadership. the people in the countries to not trust their own people for leadership. most of the people are not faithful to islam and they use it just for corruption and our own financial benefit. most of the countries in the middle east are tired of their
governments because of corruption, corruption, corruption. these countries love the united states and sent to obama election attitude have been changed. they love president obama and they wish they had a president like obama. now it is time for the u.s. to get rid of all of the governments of the middle east and u.s. set up in the democracy and all of these countries. people of the middle east are tired of islam and have no problem with the state of israel. the u.s. has all the resources to do so. we have plenty educated people in these countries working and living in these countries. we love the u.s. for what it stands for. u.s. can use these people to set up a fair and democratic -- democratic government. host: we need you to wrap up. caller: the only thing i am trying to tell you, the american people should realize the people in this part of the world are
tired. i go back and forth and whenever i go -- because of corruption, retaliation, everything. host: steve, what got to let you go. his main message -- the people in that region of the world are tired. the next phone call is from alexandria, virginia. jack on the democrats' line as we get your comments on the unfolding events on egypt. caller: i just wanted to make a comment -- they say 1 billion a year for the last 30 years went to just to egypt. lord knows how much went to other countries. i wanted to tie that into the bankruptcy of social security. because this money, instead of federal taxes paying for the war in iraq and that tax cuts for the rich and money given to different countries like egypt,
it is coming out of the social security trust fund, and i think the american public, when they find out -- the money they put in, it does not matter that you raise the age to 100 or raise the taxes on social security -- they just keep spending and spending it. there will never be enough money. i just don't understand. we will have these kinds of of marches from washington before long parrot -- before long. paul ryan, i am so sick of him talking about health care when his health care is subsidized $700 a month and the people making $30,000 a year he is telling them they have to cut their measly benefit. why don't they give up the health-care the taxpayers are subsidizing question marks host: we have a special line.
that fall line is 628-0184. and democrat and republican from lines are also on the screen. rockville, maryland. a stone, on the democrats' line. caller: do you have a special twitter line for egyptian- americans. not trying to be facetious but it is a little unnerving. however, is president obama the new nasa of the west? from what i thought, this thing is going to spiral out of control. there is some kind of holy ceremony going on this week and people are going to be so emotionally overcharged that it may exacerbate or further insane
violence that may result in the killing or murder of some journalists. the bottom line is, let those people take care of their problem right now. give them a chance. let's do like we do with a toddler -- take a time out. everybody step back, turn the cameras off and try to figure out what they want to do so far and then we will all the side. ban ki-moon, the u.n. general secretary, i don't know where he is. he is probably not in the country. however, we do have a united nations and it is a functioning organization. it is just time to let those people and the people who have roots there -- you have people in america of egyptian backgrounds who are wealthy, very well educated. you have iraqis going back home. they are sick of it because they can't stand the violence but they are wealthy. they left the country.
it so the bottom line is, let these people take care of their own problems and israel has to step in to make sure that they can draw the line on this because most of the hatred is due in part to the meddling of israel -- host: let us bring, as promised, hamza hendawi -- hisham melhem from al arabiya. first, he talked about the obama administration. i am sure what your team of reporters is doing is focusing on the messages coming out of the obama administration to the egyptian government and allies in the region. our papers are full of the push for mr. mubarak to step down sooner and for a transition government. can you tell us about the amount
of diplomatic pressure the u.s. has been trying to apply and what the perils and that falls and promise of that might be? guest: from the beginning, the administration was a bit reluctant, a bit wobbly in terms of deciding what to do with the events unfolding in egypt. initially, last thursday, remember correctly, secretary of state clinton said the regime was stable, quote, unquote. when it was into a larger uprising the administration began to escalate demands to be egyptian government calling for reform. friday and saturday, during intensive meetings at the white house, involving the national security council, and then when it became clear that we were dealing here with something qualitatively different than what we have seen in 2005, a 2004, similar demonstrations in egypt, for reform and
transparent elections, the administration realized he essentially that the mubarak era is over for all intents and purposes. it is not over officially, but the president can't really turn the clock back. and that there has to being -- be, a college interviews secretary clinton said to a variety of networks, that has to be have a transfer, a peaceful transfer of authority to a different leadership in egypt. essentially calling in diplomatic language on the egyptian president to step down, but to do so in an orderly fashion. then we have the speech from president mubarak accepting certain american request for the man's -- or demands. but they did not hear essentially that he would resign quickly, would not finish his term, and that he would not
allow his son to run or that he would do away with the emergency laws. they were very disappointed. then you heard the president of the united states saying essentially the transition should began and it should begin now. now we see essentially a confrontation between the obama administration on one hand and the egyptian administration and the other. i have to tell you the american position has been driven by the historic unfolding events in the streets of cairo, alexandria, suez, flikr and other egyptian cities. now this particular president, who made this major, bold speech in cairo in june of 2009 in which he was a sense of saying we would like to open a new page with the muslim-arab world and then he talked a lot about peace, and then he came up with his own vision of democracy in the middle east. that speech was really a tremendously important one.
he raised the expectations. the problem came, and developed later on, and the administration created the impression that the speech was fine but we will not push for it practically. then we had in 2009 the iranian elections. the brutal crackdown on the part of the iranian regime against the democracy proponents in the streets. the administration -- the initial reaction from the administration was weak and wobbly, and then after that, on wheat saw in the parliamentary elections in egypt, a rigging of elections, in-your-face kind of brazen rigging of these elections. again, the administration that the position was not strong enough. all of these moves on the part of the administration gritted the impression -- false or not -- that this administration will pursue the same line as the bush
administration. talk the talk, but not walk the walk. that is why the administration finds itself now chasing bait events in cairo and alexandria. now that are going back to the speech in cairo. now there are going back to the major speech hill recruits -- hillary clinton gave in doha before the uprising in egypt there now i think the administration is on the right path. but i think they have a legacy of the year and a half where they did not do enough to push for democratic reform in countries such as texting egypt and jordan and yemen, these countries that depend a great deal of american largess in terms of financing, helping their economies and military forces. i think now the obama administration sees itself on the right side of history.
obviously these are uncertain times. egypt bnow -- now has begun a long and as a transition period -- anybody knows anything about history will tell you that. and the administration is making its position very clear, but it would like to avoid the charge from the suppose it -- supporters of mubarak and the status quo throughout the arab world that it is intervening in the domestic affairs of an ally, that's it is dictating who should be the leadership of egypt. that is why i have to walk a fine line. host: thank you for the summary of how the administration has proceeded since it took office. frankly, pennsylvania. jim is a republican. caller: i think one of the stories the media is missing is who is behind this organized uprising in the arab world.
we are not finding out who is behind it. so, i don't believe it is just a student of the seven decided to do it. -- all of a sudden decided to do it. it is interesting egypt's top military people were in the district of columbia when it started. host: military exchange program. caller: their top leaders were here in d.c. when all of this started. it all looks to call war-related to need to be just -- coordinated to me to be just an uprising. host: this opens a rift between the united states and arab allies. they write this morning that obama is the tend to push aside hosni mubarak sparked a rift with key allies, saudi arabia
and united arab emirates, who. the united states is open the door for the islamic groups to gain influence and destabilize the region. they have sent private messages of solidarity -- the message is about to support for the president and mr. omar suleiman to oversee the transition and ensure islamists can fill any possible power vacuum. next telephone call comes from tampa. abraham, a democrat. caller: good morning. can you hear me? yes, my -- host: you have your tv volume of and that is giving you feedback. caller: i am going to turn it down. yes. my concern about what is going on over in egypt. what is happening over there in egypt -- will have enough problems of our own. this is nothing but something to
get us talked into a potential motherwort and i don't see my country going into another war or if any of of these countries. we need to mind our own business and get jobs we must declare war on jobs. this is all relevant. it is redundant. therefore, people at home, starred in and stuff like that. this is nothing but another vacuum for another war that we just don't need. and i am sorry. let's declare war on jobs. let's forget about what is going on over there and we need to mind their own business. we need to police our own selves. host: thank you. war on jobs. michael is a democrat in baltimore. you are on the air. caller: hello? can you hear me now? host: please, go ahead with your comments. caller: i just want to say i am an obama supporter. when he came in, he promised
hope and change. when he promised hope and change, it had a ripple effect around the world. people want hope and change. over there in egypt, we hear you over here in america and we care and we also want something done. and president obama, if you are listening, i know ... you have to deal with a lot of racists. but if us obama supporters can stick together -- he is trying to make a change. people trying to say bad health care or we would rather spend money on war or oil. if you tea party people want the republican plan, signed a contract and get the republican plan and get no health care -- health care. if you don't, we got to stick together as a country and tried to do something because of these
other countries want hope and change. we have obama. we elected him. we can hold him accountable. these tea party people bring their guns to town hall and now obama cannot go to a town hall. i want to hold obama accountable like it was when he first came in there. host: another baltimore caller -- this one is ron from baltimore. independent pretty caller: good morning, everybody. what i want to say, in reference to egypt and this guy is sort of leaving me down another road also parrot -- another road also. your own worst enemy is a government left unchecked. i think our government has a hand with what is going on in egypt because it spiraled to quickly. there is a lot of suspicion going on, things just don't add up. the other thing is, there has
been too much complacency in the american people to follow politics since basically the end of world war ii, korean war. everybody just wants to get on to their lives and go to work and get things and go home. i blame a lot of the situation with our government and these career politicians that are creating and exacerbating the situation going on. not only overseas but also our own country. americanhero tweets -- >> is a call from new york city -- john, egyptian-american. caller: thank you for taking my call. what does this look like from your perspective as an egyptian-american.
caller: i think it is something based on the demographics of the country and the fact that there has been a void between the standing old rule party of mubarak and the fact that there is no appreciation or any sort of interest for the overall majority. to be happy in their lives. so, i think generally what we are seeing is the fallout of a lack of the leadership for the majority and people want to be able to rule their own lives
and they see this as the only way to be heard. host: we are looking at both arab channels. do you still have family in egypt right now? caller: yes, i do. my parents are here in the york but i have cousins get in egypt. it started in the midst of this or staying away? caller: yes, they have to stand guard outside their houses. they have to protect their property. they essentially stopped their daily lives and they have not been sleeping. there's a lack of resources -- food. and everything has changed. until something happens where there is stability, until
someone steps in and hopefully the government will not stay on the sidelines again and to miss an opportunity here to really put a foothold in positive growth for egypt, like they missed with iran. i think they are going to stay the same for a long time unless mubarak steps aside and there is a quick transition. host: thank you very much, john, from the york city, egyptian- american. a tweet -- also in "the wall street journal" violence limits reporting.
hisham melhem, have had incident with police or protesters? dick, four reporters will be enough, two severely requiring hospitalization but one of them was almost killed. he was saved by the army and was taken to hospital. they were released the day before yesterday. yesterday, these thugs attacked our bureau, chased our reporters, as well as other reporters, to a nearby hotel. so, the there is an environment of intimidation against the international media -- whether they speak arabic or english or spanish. there were numerous incidents, and i think the state department was correct when it said, essentially complied, when they talk about strong evidence that this was government-sanctions and controlled. host: week were showing you a
viewer, and saying this was being reported as if it were a rugby match -- we were showing a viewer comment. when no other governments in the region and the egyptian government was saying coverage is in siting or adding to the violence. what is your perspective as a journalist as to what is appropriate? guest: our job is to tell people what is going on. if you notice, in the first few days, nobody harassed the media and our network and other networks were giving voice to the people in the streets and were giving voice to those people will probably have a different approach. it would talk about the demint "pro" mubarak demonstration -- demonstrating, if they are demonstrating peacefully, i think the networks should interview them and ask them their views.
our job is to tell our audience and our leadership, if you are in print, what is taking place. and i think the campaign in the last few days against international media was seen, i think correctly, maybe as a prelude toward a larger crackdown then the government would like to do in the dark. our job is to tell the world what is taking place. nowadays, with the information revolution, it is naive to think that one could embark on such a crackdown without the international community knowing about it. host: back to telephone calls. from new york city. mignon, is that correct? you are on the air. caller: i was listening to the gentlemen that you have here speaking just now. yes, you know, obama definitely did get in my opinion that
raised the expectations of the arab people. of course, there would be a backlash for any oppressed peoples -- having a moment to feel like now they have a chance. hope is a mainstay. i think obama is being given a sour wrap right now because he inherited in what my opinion would be -- of a decision. they have been receiving funding from the united states, three decades, and we are talking about billions of dollars a year. the arab world wants us to feed them but not have any decisions at the table? i don't see how that happens. and a father that supports a family has a say when it is time
to eat dinner at a table. they can't have it both ways. tonight our business. host: thank you for -- from new york city. from twitter, this perspective -- from "the new york times" they have major pages -- many pages average. let me point out two points. this crackdown widens but egypt also bends -- and they say mubarak supporters stormed the help and hotel looking for journalists. a greek journalist stabbed with a screwdriver and others be in an attack. below that -- some believe a street leader's status may become a liability.
nation -- retaliation said in a cause the evil to prevail. -- retaliation sets in, causing evil to prevail. i have been warning the government for the last two years. i have been totally ignored. i have been told i was not. i have also been told that they have everything under control. i have been trying to tell people, it is agreed -- greed. if you want to stop the violence, stop the greed. if you see a million people retaliating, wait what happens when 100 million people retaliate. this is not just going on in the middle east but in democracies all over the world. and greed is overtaking it. we've got to wake up. you want to stop the violence, stop the greed. host: mark from michigan. speaking of places around the world watching that, "the wall street journal."
tunisia probes protesters. -- protestor deaths. jordan's king and islamist need after a 10-year hiatus. israel worries about the pipeline. of possible repercussions in that region of the world. across the globe, in china, this story in "the washington times. but dissidents here obama's silence. china's christians push for u.s. backing of religious freedoms. it's been here in washington beginning to emerge from senators questioning -- a theme here in washington beginning to emerge from senators questioned the cia about how much intelligence it had. both democrats and republicans press a senior cia official about when the cia and other
agencies notified president obama of the looming crisis and whether intelligence officers even monitored social networking sites and internet to gauge popular sentiment. here is a response to some of those queries. >> has assessed for some time that the political stagnation in this country was untenable in the long run and breezed that to policymakers. has been closely followed the drivers of change, from economic instability and conditions to the youth bulge and other societal factors that underlined the current crisis. we will continue to monitor developments as we go forward and we will continue to -- in a continuous process indicators of stability across the region. >> that is helpful, but that is not a question i asked. the question i asked is when did the intelligence community first alert the president and policymakers that protesters
were likely to threaten president mubarak's hold on the power? >> we warned of an stability. we did not know what the triggering mechanism would be. that happened at the end of the last year. host: senators in a hearing on capitol hill wondering about the strength of our intelligence forces and communications with the white house about events in the region. centerville, virginia. rich, republican. good morning, you are on the air as we talk about egypt. caller: thank you for c-span. the previous information is kind of like where i was going. i get a lot of information from you. maybe you could get somebody in there from one of the institutes to talk about the other countries in the region -- or one caller said, anywhere in the world, where this might be going on. simply because with the
tweeting, internet, phones, people with nothing have the ability to talk with people who have everything -- people in egypt, who think we hear in the united states have everything. that goes to my next point. i don't know why we feel as americans or government feels like we have to be responsible for everybody else's -- good or bad. the idea that we should look at what is going on in other countries and how it affects us and to help them, is one thing. but our journalists acting like they are storm tasting in the midwest. they get beat up and everybody is wondering why. that is why we get a bad name. we stick our nose with sensationalism where it doesn't belong. keep it up, c-span. see if you can get somebody to talk about other countries in the world, that would be great. host: let me ask hisham melhem
from al arabiya, which capitals in the region are most anxious about the spreading? guest: i would say all of them with varying degrees of concern or fright, to be blunt. of course, the situation in yemen is right for a change. yemen is the poorest country in the arab world. it does not have the armed forces that egypt has a that could control the injured -- situation and prevent a complete descent into or chaos and yemen is on the arabian peninsula, where out private in the arabian peninsula is headquartered and almost on its way to becoming a failed state like some malia and afghanistan before. yemen is a place where many people in washington and many people in various capitals, particularly in the caribbean peninsula, are watching with a great deal of concern. the situation in jordan is a bit
worsened because there is a great deal of economic and social dislocation there and we see demonstrations taking place. that is why king of the law was forced to begin negotiations -- king abdullah was forced to begin negotiations. syria, a tense today at organizing demonstrations -- then add -- demonstrations against the autocratic regime. if you think egypt is bad, syria is much, much worse. practically everybody in arab world is mesmerized by the events in cairo and alexandria. a few days ago we heard the algerian government decided to annul the emergency laws. we have a bunch of arab countries ruled by emergency laws with the state and security apparatus had tremendous authority and power to intimidate any hint of the sense
in the country. host: next is the call from jasper, sososo carolina. independent line. caller: good morning, c-span, and thank you for having me on. just listening to a few of the calls, and in the together, the last caller in virginia, a lot of arguments asking why america is preoccupied in helping our -- out with this problem in egypt. one thing i would like to throw out to many americans -- i am a political science major and also mass communications major, 01 thing i would like them to throw out is we have to pay attention to the things going on around us. look at the stock market. there have been a lot of investors that have been struggling with how to make a decision to invest in some things. we can't ignore the fact that
egypt -- trade with america. one thing i am concerned about as may be how president barack obama is handling the situation when it comes to international relations. everything, we can negotiate on -- the muslim brotherhood, they are a serious group. we can't hide that fact. the already made their points clear that they want to do what they want to do. and also our is predominant party in egypt. thank you, c-span. thank you for having it. host: thank you so much. watching the twitter feed -- hashed tagged, egypt. he retweets -- that is someone on seen -- scene. earl is a democrat.
caller: i did have a question. maybe we can get to mr. hisham melhem because he is in the news business. i of wondering if global news corp. is broadcast in egypt and if they have an egyptian counterpart to glenn beck. cause it kind of like seems like a tea party all over again. and i agree with the guy from michigan. host: i did not know how you want to take the direction of that call, asking whether or not if their on-camera people who are commentator's rather than those reporters who are starting things up? guest: there are programs on television in the egypt and other places where you have religious figures broadcasting in a style similar to some of the religious broadcasters in
this country. but you did not have phenomenon like glenn beck. maybe thank god, i should say. but if i could say is about america's role in the least. throughout history, great powers and empires, including this country, assume the burden of leadership, whether you like it or not. the united states cannot be neutral. the united states is involved in -- and affairs. there is an extensive relationship. economic, military, cultural. their areas of cooperation between the two countries. the united states cannot look at events in egypt the way, for instance, india can look at them. there is a great worry in washington as well as in cairo that if things get out of hand in egypt, this will give an opening to al qaeda, those people hiding in the caves of afghanistan and pakistan. many of them are egyptian, like
house, erie, probably the most important man and al qaeda -- al-zawahiri. followers in egypt and these people might go back to egypt. united states cannot be neutral because the al qaeda declared war on the united states. for anybody to say we should minder on business here in this country, it is a bit, i am sorry to say, nine eve. this is the world. it is very independent. the united states cannot just allow things to get out of hand in a pivotal country where the united states has tremendous interests -- strategic and otherwise. people talk about the aid to egypt. people exaggerate the amount of aid the united states gives to various countries. way behind countries like norway. yet, the united states spends tens of billions of dollars --
peace agreement between israel and egypt, providing israel with a $3 billion and egypt with $2 billion and now 1.5 billion spirited to my mind, the money should not be given to israel or egypt. it could be put to better use. but when you have that kind of investment, the egyptian cannot say the united states has no voice or opinion. i do not think the obama administration is trying to pick the next ruler of egypt. but the administration is correct when it says if you want to be allies, you have to adhere to certain roles and values. and sometimes one awful things happen to people, as we have seen it in bosnia in the mid- 1990s, and wind power is the not intervene, it was only the united states intervention that stopped the mass killing -- the first time we have seen mass killing on the european
continent since the holocaust. there is a role for the united states. if the united states will not assume it, nobody will care. if the united states does not contain north creek, nobody will care. if the united states does not intervene with a tsunami -- nobody will be able to do so. call it a vacuum of leadership -- this is a fact of life. this is part of international relations. host: we will take the first hour on this topic and in the last half hour we will have open fall on other topics you are interested in on this early february morning pennsylvania. mike is a republican. good morning. caller: good morning. i had tremendous relationships through the years with egyptian people and egyptian officials. my feeling is it is a wonderful country and varied the sophisticated in many, many
ways. my question for your guest is -- do you feel an uprising from basically ignorant people who are not educated or not really making a lot of their own decisions, whether they are under a lot of control from perhaps the french group's or whenever, or do you think that this is just a natural -- perhaps a fringe group or whatever, or do you think this is just a natural response to the economic conditions? i have a lot of faith in the egyptian people as a tremendous group. the evening they will be able to work through this or do you see darker days? i will hang up and wait for your answer. guest: what you see in egypt is tremendously important. those who are on the streets are
essentially the youth. most people there are under the age 25, many university students, many of them speak perfect english. they are on twitter, highly sophisticated. what you see is a the coalition -- students, members of the middle-class, side by side with poorer classes, workers, men and women, demonstrating. this is a collective cry for dignity, freedom, and power meant. these people don't want their government to treat them with utter contempt, as they raked the recent elections. if you look at government- controlled media, they are lying through their teeth and deceiving their own people. they are using methods to intimate the population.
what you have year, i think, is an attempt on the part of these people who are not engaged in any meta narratives -- nobody is talking about islamism, anti- india realism, ever nationalism, but they want to talk about politics. they want to empower themselves. they want to live in a dignity under the rule of law. this country has long, secular traditions but don't believe they egyptian government, syrian government, yemeni government that it is us or islamists. yes, they are in egypt, just as we have here we have extreme people on the right or people who are driven by christian values. it doesn't mean that this revolution or uprising is going to be hijacked by islamists. islamists, in fact, were not even leaders of this movement. it was a spontaneous movement by
university students, members of the middle-class, by professionals, and islamists came along after. they don't represent the majority of the people so let us not believe they egyptian government lies that either more bark -- mubarak and stability or the bogeyman, islamists. i bring the obama administration is sophisticated and of and understand the situation is more complex than that -- i think the obama administration is sophisticated enough to understand. if we allow space for the nationalist groups, secular group to compete with it -- with the islamist at the ballot box i don't think the trick islamists will make a major dent at home each year will be decided by the egyptian people. or they have their own place but a tiny place. host: washington. lamar is on the line. independent pretty caller: can you hear me?
i have a question. forgive me if i say the name wrong -- it hasim. host: yes, go ahead. caller: there have been a lot of good callers -- one thing we have forgotten, this country, the usa, we are supporters of freedom. like the caller said before, i was a supporter of egypt, too, and god bless them. the question i have for your guest is, one, does he support the bible, and two, the people of egypt -- i know there is friction between mubarak supporters and non-mubarak -- forgive me if i am announcing it wrong -- supporters. why -- understand
actually i can understand why they are fighting, but when it first broke out i felt that, a, they are looking for a different -- see, i have a problem with the word regime, because over in this country we are going through this period, too, and i am afraid this will carry it here. host: many of the egyptian leaders have talked, and many in the streets, talking about egyptians fighting egypts. what brings the country to this point where it is countrymen against countryman? guest: similar wars happens everywhere and his country had one of the bloodiest civil wars in the 19th century or even modern times. what you see in egypt is not a civil war. it is not civil strife. peaceful demonstrators by the tens of thousands or hundreds of
thousands in all the various cities -- the government is using its own supporters, the ruling party, and the people that you saw yesterday are paid and controlled by the government. they were bussed to these places, given money, they belong to the discredited ruling party and maybe some of the security services. we are not talking about genuine division is based on political divisions or ethnic divisions or religious divisions. this is not the beginning of civil strife. not the beginning of civil war and any kind of classical sense of that term. people should understand that this is the government that stands behind those people. we have seen that in eastern europe, and other places where the government resorts to homeloans and thugs because they don't want the world to see that they are relying on security
services or police or army. it was very suspicious when the police withdrew from the streets without interpretation. the army is not intervening, luckily. then you see the goons and thugs released to create the impression that there are divisions, that not only people opposed to mubarak are demonstrating on the streets but there are good egyptian demonstrating in support of the regime. but everybody knows that every election cycle that occurs in egypt was rigged. american government said that, given rights organizations said that. we are not talking about a very legitimate regime. unfortunately the united states was in bed for that region for a long time for a variety of reasons. but this administration saw the light. and to be fair to bush, he tried to push mubarak to accept more transparent elections in 2005, but he failed, too. it's got a couple minutes left
in this first hour of -- host: a couple of minutes left in the first hour of "washington journal. a tweet -- athens, ohio. chris, democrat. caller: how are you? host: good, thank you. caller: i would like to say, it seems like the united states keeps wanting to control these arab countries because egypt is not the only one we have been sending billions of dollars to. saddam hussein, bin laden, we train these people and put them in. the point i want to make is, is it is tiresome hearing people talk about we need to cut social
security when we are paying all these people that don't like us anyway and they will do what they want to do. in other words, we can't buy these people off. i will get off the phone. a viewer tweets -- our last phone caller: i would like to complement c-span and al jazeera whose brave reporters are doing an outstanding job. my question is has anyone tried to do any investigative reporting regarding a large number of stretch limousines or very luxurious cars that went to the airport in cairo that supposedly took members of the family out of the country? is anyone trying to talk to the british government?
i think the british government should step up and find out what is going on with these people and who they are, and maybe even have some pictures of their mansions and the money aspects of of of these suspects. guest: the british government deny the reports that the son of president mubarak and his wife and other cronies and landed in london. his son was at his side at the presidential palace. maybe some people left. i am not sure. it definitely, the son of the president and other members of family of the president, are still in egypt and still with him. if mubarak decides to leave the country, believe me, there will be investigations into what
happened to billions and billions of dollars that people suspect with some evidence that there was a great deal of corruption, and this money ended up the wrong hands. host: thank you very much for adding your perspective and those of your reporters in our discussion this morning. we are going to take a break. we have two united states senators coming up. right now, senator roger wicker will be our guest. we will be right back. >> the whole environment of politics had come apart. its debt become polluted land destroyed and a violent -- it had become polluted land destroyed and violent. >> the reason for doing the
documentary was to show a different sign of this boy -- a different side of this. people did not understand the pressures he was under. >> sunday night at 8:00 on c- span. this weekend on "american old naval observatory. university of virginia professor on the fugitive slave law of 1850 and how it indirectly resulted in the expansion of the underground railroad. experience american history tv on c-span3, all weekend, every weekend. for a complete schedule online, go to c-span.org.
>> sunday, an author and columnist, the founder of the american spectator magazine has written over a half-dozen books. join our three-hour conversation with your e-mails, phone calls, and tweets on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: sen a terror roger wicker -- senator roger wicker, he has now moved on to armed services. he is a part of the leadership team for the senate. a want to start with your perspective on egypt. as you sit and watch this water your concerns for u.s. interests
in that region? >> actually, egypt has been a linchpin in our policy toward israel. that is my major concern. of course, we do not want to see what happened in iran three decades ago happened in egypt. it is clear to me that president mubarak is on his way out. the question is who is going to replace him. this may happen today. it would be a member of the military, someone who is in charge of this vast military establishment that controls 40% of the gross domestic product of egypt. in that case, i think it would be a stabilizing transition period to the extent there is a
group that takes over including the islamic brotherhood, then we have real trouble. and i think we have yet to see what is going to happen there. but i do know this. egypt is right next door to israel. they signed the camp david accords back in 1978. since that time, they have been a reliable partner in helping us make the case that israel has the right to exist. and the entire arab world should not be at war with israel. that has been an important stabilizing factor in the region. host: this is in the new york times this morning -- is it appropriate or a missed opportunity? guest: for gop candidates? i think it is to their credit
that they have not played politics with this. this is a time for extreme prudence and caution. we have one president at a time and one secretary of state at a time. congress has an opportunity to weigh in. we certainly have the power of the person with this $1.5 billion in aid that has gone to egypt year after year since camp david. but most of it comes back to the united states in the form of military manufacturing. but the president and his administration are the principal agencies that conduct foreign policy. frankly, as a matter of what is doing in the national interest, it is probably best not to inject presidential politics in
this. host: the senate resolution on the transition of power -- what good does that do? guest: i wonder myself. there was very little debate as people who watch closely know. basically, the chairman of the foreign relations committee and senator john mccain put it to get their -- put it together and basically got it blessed by their leadership. i daresay most members did not even have a chance to read it in its entirety. i think it expresses the general sense on capitol hill that we realize a transition is on its way and it needs to be done quickly and in an orderly fashion. and the people of egypt are entitled to a democratically elected government. basically, it struck the general
principles but in terms of making news or taking a position, i think the significant part of was that the transition should begin almost immediately and not wait until the end of president mubarak's term. i think you could say that. host: the center will be with us for a half hour. -- the senator will be with us for a half-hour. he is ready to take your calls. let me move to the budget. the house is taking the lead as it does on budget issues. yesterday, the new budget chairman's first line of budget cutting.
depending upon perhaps the editorial point of view of the paper, that had lined varied very differently about whether this is an achievement to find savings or whether or not it meets the promises made it -- here we are, during the election campaign. here is the new york times -- and, in front of the wall street journal -- i want to talk to you about the sentiment among republicans on capitol hill in both chambers. guest: i think the story there is that it is a new direction, whether it is an inadequate for step or not can be debatable. the significant thing is that this is a new day and we are not talking about new stimulus spending projects. new appropriations to be sent to
states to help them out of their financial hardships. this is a new budget chairman, and the republican minority in the senate feel this way also, that our searching for ways to cut the budget and expenditures. it is the direction that is an about face. the new direction is the bigger story there. host: will they find enough like-minded democrats? guest: i hope so. we will see. that is why we have votes. i think repealing the obama health care bill would be a long-term savings. that is why we had a vote yesterday or earlier this week. it would take in 60 votes. it would have been an amendment, a rather strange amendment to
the reauthorization bill. it was an opening salvo. we will be seeing if we can take our 47 republicans in the senate and get four or five democrats to move us in the direction of actually cutting the budget. the first task is going to be on the continuing resolution, which is next month. i think it says a lot that this new majority in the house of representatives is not simply saying for the rest of this fiscal year we are simply going to ratify the appropriation levels that we have already had. basically, what we are saying is no, even this, the continuation of the status quo is not acceptable. we are going to cut on that level.
it is difficult to do as chairman ryan probably demonstrated yesterday, but i think the cuts are going to come. in many respects, it is not going to be a lot of fun. we have to look at the bigger picture, and that is with a $14 trillion debt. and our country really risks economic ruin. things have gone so far out of hand, we are going to have to do some painful and difficult things and make some adult decisions. host: let's get to our calls, beginning with canton, ohio. you are on align with the senator. caller: thank you for taking my call. senator, i have a comment and a question for you. by all accounts, this movement
in egypt was started by anonymous students using modern electronic devices -- facebook, what ever. i think that obama's speech in june 2009 at cairo university steered the students up. i also think that every american media outlet -- the journalists over there, i believe the israelis called it professional and narcissism. i include you a part of the government. what if president mubarak called for obama to step down because he has a lot of opposition in this country? guest: the caller was not very
good on the sound, but i think he has a point. internationally, people look to the united states for broad principles, and we certainly ought to be standing for freedom and democracy at the same time we are approaching -- at the same time we are promoting stability what would we care in the united states if foreign head of state suggested how we handled our domestic policy? i think we have to be careful in that respect and how we are seen as dictating what people in a sovereign country should do. we have to be cautious of how that is received by the various factions over there. the caller makes a good point. it was " this is bonnie who is a republican. host: this is bonnie who is a
republican. caller: at the news media is feeding the fire over there. how can our governments think they have a right to tell other countries to put in power? our government is taking away more and more of our powers, like health care, what we have to eat, what kind of cars. so we are no better than they are, yet we want to tell them what they want to do. what do you think of that? guest: that is a follow up point. i guess we have a point of bipartisanship between our first two callers. of course, the caller has some very real concerns about domestic policies and they are well taken. i think i will let it go at that. it is a fact that the united
states is a leader on the world stage. to a great extent, they look to us. it is also a fact that the american taxpayers, as a way of being a part of a process to move towards middle east peace, the american taxpayers have paid $1.5 billion a year or the equivalent for quite some time. so, we do have interest over there. i think it is important that we express our opinions. oftentimes, the united states has been able to move in and preside over very difficult issues and provide a forum for getting them straightened out. i hope that is what we are doing rather than sending the signal that we know what is best for
local governments. host: this is robert, an independent. caller: good morning. i see a lot of parallels with this stuff over in egypt and people here in this country. a lot of people over here -- i think it is going back to when george bush was put into office not by the majority of people because they voted for -- [unintelligible] i think a lot of people in this country feel like -- use a few minutes ago that the administration has to deal with this. since the first of the year, it look like the republican should be involved with this. they just want to drop it on the
democrats now. i would think that you would be a little more sympathetic for everybody in the country instead of just republicans and democrats. thank you. guest: we do have a vested interest over there. we have a strong ally in israel. we would like to see israel have an opportunity to survive and have their own country over there and live in a peaceful middle east. it is -- and again, we have spent our own tax payer dollars to try to accomplish that. the point i was making about epublicans' sort of not politicizing this issue is that it is a very, very volatile oil situation -- a volatile
situation. extreme prudence should be used. for that reason, i would think that observers and american voters such as you would be pleased that presidential candidates are not coming in and making a political issue out of this. host: with the front page in "usa today," -- i put this on the table not so much to respond to this, but just to talk about your goals and what your attitude is with the concerned about the budget and what you want to do for mandatary service people and their families.
what is the right program for people making sacrifices? guest: let me clarify. i am continuing on the armed services committee. i have had an extra duty with foreign relations for the last two years, but i am continuing. i am also a member of the veterans affairs committee. we are very concerned about our veterans. actually, i had a gold star mom in my office yesterday. her son had been killed in combat in iraq. basically, she did not come there with an agenda with the cold start mothers' organization, but she did want to communicate to me that as we make budget cuts we do not need to disadvantage our troops and their families. i think that is a legitimate
concern. i think everything need to be on the table. there are expenditures in the pentagon, perhaps that are not directly related to what we are doing in iraq and in afghanistan and not directly related to taking care of our troops and their families. i think we can make cuts there but we have to be careful. i have not seen that article about foreclosures. i would have to say that it is disturbing to hear that. perhaps, there is a solution, but overall, it may be a function of the housing market and the fact that potential buyers cannot get credit and come in and buy the homes that military people are offering for sale.
we will need to look further into the details, but it is a disturbing headline. host: as you look for ways to trim the budget, -- >guest: that is the reason i am encouraged by the determination to have a legitimate oversight. oftentimes, we are so busy talking about legislation being offered and working out the details of a new bill or a new resolution or a new appropriation that we fail to take the time to exercise our role as a function of how our money is being spent already, all programs are working already. so, of course, a real aggressive republican congressman from california has been made the chairman of the oversight committee in the house
of representatives. i know the speaker has said this is not going to be "gotcha" investigations, putting people on the spot, but it is going to be oversight in to help our programs are working. i think every program including veterans health and all the various functions of the pentagon and including entitlement programs should be the subject of various thorough oversight, and think the american people may be pleased when we are able to weed out some programs that are not getting the results that we hoped for. host: this is greg who is a democrat. caller: good morning. i have spent some time in egypt. one thing that we have to be aware of is you have an elite
political class in egypt that refuses -- ever since the president was killed, refuses to acknowledge the need of the egyptian people. we have to be careful of that. mubarak is not going to resign. they have been living off the egyptian people for so long now. i am surprised that nobody seems to be asking the egyptian people out on the streets how they really feel and what they are really protesting. in this country, the republicans need to be careful that they are not is treating the elections of last year. the american people are coming to the sense that we have a corrupt political class that is speaking to preserve its self and its own privileges. you better be careful because if
you get it wrong, this could happen in america. it is not that far-fetched that people will get fed up because we do not have adequate far -- adequate health care. get real. you need to be sure that you have it right, republicans. guest: ok. the foreign policy point is well taken to the extent that, yes, the ruling elite has not moved as it should have toward inclusion and democracy and a policy that helps the people of the grass-roots out. i appreciate the callers perspective as someone who has actually been to egypt. i think it is a stretch to compare that situation with the united states.
this is the really terrific thing about our system. we have known since the ratification of the constitution in 1787 that a presidential election was going to be held, is going to be held in 2012. you cannot count out pelletier's -- you can count out the years centuries ago. we do not have to worry about whether the army is going to support who we elect. it is a thing of beauty that you do not see that much worldwide the orderly transfer of power. we had an election in 2010. i think the message is was that
the american people were concerned about deficit spending, a very troubled about this debt which has now exceeded $14 trillion, and they want to do something about it. as susan was just reading from the newspaper, we are doing something about it. i think it was also about jobs. everything we do about the budget and making government work better for the people, our oversight efforts as well as our budget reduction efforts, is targeted towards making the united states economy a better place for job creators and risk takers. that is the message i heard from the election. if we are wrong, the american people are going to be able to go to the polls, no question about it, in november 2012 and
set it straight. that is the direction i hope we take. host: clyde from pennsylvania. you are on with the senator. caller: i think the country is a lot more important and afghanistan. did you want to say something? host: who should we be supporting? caller: i think we should keep the radicals out of there. i do not think we should let the radicals take over egypt. why did we go to these other countries? we are just going to let them take over. guest: i share the concern. i was not sure who we thought -- i was not sure who you thought we should be supporting. we should support an orderly transfer of the power. i think president mubarak is on
his way out. the team that we transition to or egypt transitions to is the key. it is an iran-type islamic radical republic, indeed, we are in trouble, and frankly, the entire international community is in trouble. we are in afghanistan because 9/11, 2001. that is where the attacks were launched. it was a matter of days before the president and the congress came together and decided we needed to move into afghanistan. and that is the reason why we are in afghanistan. a host: senator roger wicker served seven terms in the house.
as we mentioned earlier, his committee assignments are with the veteran arms services. washington, d.c., is our last caller for him. caller: good morning. [unintelligible] the governor has somewhat pardoned him. is this situation in mississippi so racist [unintelligible] guest: of the governor -- if the governor said that about himself, i am sure he is trying to be humorous. i think in the larger civil rights community, the sentences
have been applauded. it is a situation that i am not closely involved in because it involves the accord. it seems to me the sentences were very, very harsh. the two women had served a considerable amount of time already. i think most people who watched this situation were pleased that the governor commuted the sentences, and those two sisters are now released. host: we have gotten a number of tweets. guest: he did not have to ask my opinion because i offered my opinion. i think he should run. he would be a long shot at this point, but frankly, senator barack obama was a long shot
four years ago. i think people are going to be looking for an adult or someone who can talk about the issues in a responsible way, who has been there, who has run a big organization like the republican governors association on a national scale. i also think they are going to be looking for somebody who has shown that we can make tough, grown-up decisions about running agencies with fewer dollars than we did in the past. has a history of doing that over eight years in mississippi. states have some tough times in terms of rhetoric coming in. mississippi has had tough times. the stater has led
in a bipartisan way. and has gone results and has been able to cut the budget. host: if thank you very much for being here with us. we are going to take a break with us. we will have the chairman of the energy and national resources committee. in a half an hour from now, we will be talking about american workers and fulfilling those job openings that are available throughout the country. we will be right back. >> of this weekend on c-span2, -- this weekend on c-span2 -- also, ron reagan and his account of his father's life.
find the complete schedule online, including this weekend. and get our schedules e-mailed to you. >> listen to historic supreme court cases on c-span radio, saturday from 2003. the court considers the fair housing act, racial discrimination, and liability in meyer v. holley. >> the complaint said he should be liable because he was the officer broker. >> listen to the argument on c- span radio in washington, d.c. and online at c-span.org. >> i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i am not going to exploit for
political purposes. >> on the 100th anniversary of his birth, look at the life and presidency of ronald reagan online at the c-span video library. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we welcome back to the table at the chairman of the senate energy committee, senator jeff bingaman. how real are those concerns? guest: we had a hearing yesterday and several experts talking about it. the consensus was there is no immediate threat to oil transiton in each iegypt or in egypt. i think of the concerns are understandable.
anytime there is a major geopolitical problem, you see fluctuations in the price of oil. i do not think we are going to see a disruption in oil in that part of the world. host: even before the crisis, weak or hearing stories about we could be seeing $4 a gallon gas prices. what is causing that? guest: the consensus is that it is primarily the rapid increase in purchases and in demand from emerging countries primarily. and there is not a great deal of increase of demand in the midst its or from europe, china, india, these countries continue to grow and buy more automobiles. the demand for oil keeps going up in those countries. host: we heard the president speak about renewable energy in
the state of the union address. you were asked to come meet with him this week about energy policy. what can you tell us about that meeting? guest: we talk about some of the issues he discussed in his state of the union speech. he talked about we should have a goal of producing at least 80% of electricity that we consume here in the country from renewable sources and from other clean sources. he specified nuclear power, clean coal, and natural gas. he talked about that and how we need to do a lot of consultation to see if we can come up with an agreement of how that might be done or what legislation would be inappropriate to try to implement that. we talked about his other goal which he talked about in his speech of having 1 million electric vehicles on the road by
2015. of course, that is an ambitious goal. i think he recognized that and everybody else does as well. it is certainly a worthy goal and one that i am anxious to try to find ways to help us achieve. host: as the point person for energy policy, what do you want to, with this debate with? guest: i am not sure what is achievable yet. we have not had enough time to consult. what i would like to see us do is get a bipartisan consensus on legislation in each of these various areas. we can do much more in this country on energy efficiency. that is also efficiency in buildings. the president spoke about that yesterday in his trip to pennsylvania about his desire to see us do more, in courage
building efficiency. appliances, equipment, manufacturing, and all those areas i think most experts say we are not near as efficient in our use of energy as for example the japanese are and many of our european allies. there is a lot that can be done there. there is a law that can be done on the production side. we have to be sure that the proper regulations are in place so we do not have another oil spill down in the gulf of mexico. we still need to pass legislation to implement some of the recommendations. host: on nuclear power, how do you address concerns about storage and proliferation? guest: i think the record of safety in nuclear power plants in this country is pretty good
and for several decades. we obviously need to keep a focus on that. i think we have a good record there. proliferation issues, we need to be continued to be worried about. we have to be worried that it is not become much more widespread in these countries that are particularly volatile and hostile to us. i think the nuclear non- proliferation treaty has been our best defense in that regard. we need to try to keep that alive. the president has committed to continue to do what we have talked about doing as part of that treaty, which is to keep bringing down the u.s. arsenal with nuclear weapons. host: [unintelligible] guest: the president appointed
a blue-ribbon commission on that to try to come up with a plan since the administration does not support with going ahead with yaca mountain. they have tried to withdraw the application to do that. so, i think we do need good experts, scientific advice, as to what is a good plan b. should we look for another permanent repository? if so, where should it be? should we plan on interim storage for a long period of time in some perhaps regional location? what is the right answer? i think we do not have the answer yet. i hope the blue ribbon commission will give us some recommendations. host: i am wondering how you feel about ethanol policy, given
some of the facts we have learned about what it is doing overall to add to the carbon issues with transportation, food price effects. are you supportive of an ethanol policy? guest: m.i.a. supported to begin to reduce the amount of subsidy provided to ethanol. we tried in this last lame-duck session -- we try to get an agreement to go ahead and reduce the amount of that subsidy varies significantly, i think about 20% reduction, and then phase it further down in the coming years. i think that is the right way to go. i do not think we can justify maintaining the current 45 cents per gallon subsidy that we provide to ethanol. we also of course need to keep every effort going to develop
this biofuel where we are not dependent upon corn as the feedstock for the biofuel that we are using. host: what are you driving these days? guest: i am driving a toyota pre yes. i have been really glad to not have to pay so much for gasoline. host: eagle river, wisconsin, ron is a democrat. caller: good morning. when it is congress going to be honest with the american people? you mentioned clean coal. clean coal is a lie. nuclear is way too expensive and takes way to long to develop. oil is in charge of washington until the last drop is gone, sir.
why are we not developing biodiesel fuel in this country? it can be made from any kind of vegetable oil or even any kind of hemp seed oil. it is weigh less corrosive than ethanol. i have a 2007 diesel fuel truck. as i get 23.8 on the highway. that is better than any gasoline truck. host: thank-you, ron. guest: i agree that we need to promote the development of zero biodiesel fuel. i agree with some of the other points about the high price of building a new nuclear power plant. there is no question that it is extremely expensive these days.
i think we need to get to a point where utilities can choose between various, clean forms of energy on the basis of economics. that is what i think we would try to. on clean coal, i think there is the technology to go ahead and do carbon captured storage, to take the carbon that comes from coal and sequester it underground. that has not been proven at scale. we have not been able to demonstrate that would be the solution to our coal plants, but i think there is such a thing as clean coal. at least it has been demonstrated that it can be done in some cases. whether we can do it more broadly, that is what we are
trying to determine. host: ap bulletin -- would you like to react? guest: 36,000 is a disappointing number. obviously, the expectations that i heard was that it would be substantially more than 100,000 jobs, private sector jobs, that people would expect would of been created in january. so that is a disappointment. the other figure, the unemployment figure -- it is always nice to see unemployment coming down, but until we get more explanation of how exactly that figure was arrived at, sometimes that reflects more how many people quit looking for work than it does actual number
of folks getting a job. host: what is the situation with unemployment in new mexico? guest: we are modestly better than the country as a whole. i think the unemployment in our state is about 8.5% host: why are you doing better? guest: we have a lot of public- sector employment in new mexico. we have four military bases. we have a couple of large energy laboratories. we have a lot of folks whose jobs are public sector. therefore, as the a economy reduces -- as the economy reduces, their jobs are more stable. host: i am wondering where you see the compromise between
republicans and democrats especially in the senate over the need for to cut? guest: i am not sure where the compromise will end up being. i think my own position would be that we should heed the advice that chairman ben bernanke has been giving us, and that is we need to put in place a long-term plan with some teeth in it to begin to bring down the deficit, both by spending reductions and revenue increases. we should not be doing that immediately. we should not be slamming on the press with this economy right now. i think these jobs figures would reinforce that perspective. we need to create over 100,000 jobs each month in this country in order to meet the folks that
are coming into the workforce for the first time, to meet the needs for jobs for those folks. if we are only creating 36,000, obviously, the economy is still anemic. we need to be sure we do not make it more anemic by cutting back on spending dramatically and precipitously. host: of the next call is from old town, maryland. philip is a republican. good morning. caller: i wanted to remind the senator that almost every time -- i could not get on at 8:30. almost every time that jobs and so forth is brought up, we talk about social security, having to cut that, social security and medicare. since 1935 when social security was first instituted, the congress of the united states
has borrowed no less than $9 trillion from that fund. i would like to suggest that they pay it back as needed to keep social security and medicare secure, not cut it in any way, shape, or form. they said they were borrowing money. they did never -- they never said they were stealing money. please consider this. guest: i think the caller makes a good point. social security is not contributing to the deficit at this point. we are using revenue from social security, being paid into social security, to meet other needs of the government. i think his point is well taken, that in order to get social security on a footing where it can be projected to be solvent for 75 years, which think the
administration would like to see, and many experts would like to see, i think some adjustments could be made. that does not mean you have to change benefits or reduce benefits. host: a tweet asks -- i do not think u.s. energy policy gets into the question of where the technology that we are using to produce and use energy is coming from. i think, myself, as a matter of national economic policy, we ought to try to promote and give preference to u.s. manufacturing of these products. there is a very serious threat that we have, especially as we are talking more and more about how we have to cut back on this
and that, there is a real threat that the chinese are investing so much in this area of developing clean energy technologies, whether it is wind turbines, photovoltaic cells. as we begin to use those technologies, we will find the only ones available or the foreign-manufactured products. host: our guest sits on the finance committee, the house committee, and joint economic committee. what is your major goal for this year? guest: since i do chair the energy committee, i would say a major goal would be to try to get an energy bill out of our committee, either a large comprehensive energy bill that deals with the various energy
challenges we have over a series of bills that deals with those challenges. and then try to get that passed on the senate floor. i think that would be an accomplishment. we have to do it in a way that we can persuade the house that this is something they should agree on. host: this weekend, we will begin recognitions of ronald 100th anniversary of his birth. we will be covering some of the defense. usa today has a list of them occurring across the country. what do you think of the reagan legacy is? guest: well, i am sure i am out of sync with your viewers on this.
and i remember when i arrived in washington in january 1983, we were beginning to run significant deficits at that time. i think the remainder of president reagan's term continued us on that path. i think -- of course, it was a very much anti-government at the time. that was the message, that government was the problem, not the solution. host: is that a different message from fenty party this year? guest: no, i think it is -- is that a different message from the tea party this year? guest: had the same time government was being denounced, deficits were going up and spending was growing ugoing up.
i do not think we came out of that period in good fiscal shape. unfortunately, we are now very much back in the sense that we have enormous deficits now and we have to come to grips with it. host: a viewer writes in -- guest: the general sentiment during the reagan administration, there was not a very enlightened energy policy. i do not think those numbers are exactly right. we asked that question, what is the dependent -- what percentage
of our oil comes from overseas today? it was, i think, 50%. i think 55%, in that range. another interesting point that came out yesterday, the high water mark as far as a percentage of oil that comes from overseas was reached in 2005 according to these experts. we are now in a period where that is declining and we hope it will continue to decline. host: one of the debates i heard from one of the witnesses is that it is a global marketplace for all other things. we bring sweaters from china and alike. these witnesses made the point that independence and should not necessarily be a goal. what is your view about the independence question? guest: my own view is we do not
need to have total independence but we need to dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil for national security reasons. oil is not like sweaters in the sense that oil has a dramatic impact on the economy overall. the price of oil goes up, we are dependent upon foreign oil. there are disruptions in the supply of oil -- all that can have a devastating effect on our economy. we have seen that many times. i hope we do not see it again. host: clinton, missouri, larry is an independent. color " good morning. sir, i have two questions for you -- caller: good morning. how can the democratic people in healthgress and in thvote in
care, which would destroy the united states? they are already in trouble. you are going to give them some more. and my second comment is we need to get a cap and trade put to bed, take it out of our lives. also, you cannot solve the problems by taxing them. if you can answer those two questions realistically, you tell me how you can consciously, both for a health-care bill that is going to destroy every state in the united states, every state -- not just one, but all. what you are doing is putting the money back to the straits -- back to the states who is already in trouble by putting
this out bridges health care bill in our laps. i am 72 years old and have always paid for my health care. i will continue to do so. when you put strings on us, you are asking for trouble. that is all i have to say. guest: i disagree with a caller on the issue of health care bill. i think the health care bill is a major step forward for the country and for the american people. as far as the bird and it puts on states, -- as far as the bird in it puts on states, i do not see a major burden. as it becomes a fully phased in, in my state of new mexico, i think the federal government is going to pick up any additional costs on medicaid 100%.
for several years, and then that will be reduced to 94% by so, i don't think it is an undue andship on the state's there is an awful lot of improvements in health care and and health care delivery system that would result. on cap and trade, there is no discussion i have heard here in congress about trying to pass cap and trade legislation. that was a subject that was tried in the last congress. i don't know of any effort in the house of representatives or the senate to pass cap and trade legislation. host: saw lake city, utah. sandy, democrats' line. caller: here in utah we have more natural gas than oil in the middle east but i don't see any rush to create pipelines for the
natural gas. there is also colorado, wyoming, neat -- new york, and other states. if you think that's egypt is an isolated incident, that is only the beginning. there will be several disruptions to oil. we need the -- -- emergency funds to create the pipelines but think of all of the jobs there are. until we get the pipelines, something needs to be done about the speculation on wall street driving the food prices up and the oil prices up. tunisia, algeria, jordan, egypt all began with a high prices of food. guest: first, on the issue of natural gas, i agree we've got enormous supply of natural gas in this country. one of the great things we have
going for us as far as energy resources -- unfortunately the price of natural gas is now very low. it is not on fortunate for consumers but unfortunate in terms of trying to encourage additional production of natural gas. i think producers of natural gas or folks interested in building pipelines look at the price of natural gas and say it does not make sense for us to do this at this point. we need to find ways to use natural gas as a substitute for oil, in transportation, and i think we are trying to do that with truck fleets of the various kinds. there is also a push for more use of natural gas for electricity generation, which i think makes all the sense of the world, particularly economic sense for utilities these days.
host: michigan is our next caller. this is ellen, republican. you are on the air. caller: thank you. just wanted to make the comment about the cap and trade. it does not get -- need to get past any more because the epa has gone around making all the rules which need -- leads me to the other comments, the rolling blackouts in texas. epa is coming in and shutting down energy power. but yet and they have the energy to keep the super bowl going. what will you tell us about the free-trade, where energy plants are being shut down here and why china is able to come in here and start them up. china is starting power plants up, two a week, while we are being closed down two a week or five a week. can you answer that, please? j., --
guest: i don't know of us to shut down power plant's two a week. i know the epa has regulations that they are developing which will result in the retirement and shutting down of some of the old power plants in this country that have the worst conditions, greenhouse gas emissions, and other pollutants that result from them. that is over a period of quite a few years. i am also not aware of any action the epa has taken that has pointed to a possible cause or the rolling blackouts that she referred to in texas. i think that has much more to do with the weather then it does with the epa. host: richmond, virginia. hank is a democrat. caller: good morning.
how are you? good. a question that sort of father meet. i worked for some years as an aircraft mechanic and inspector and back in world war ii, they came up with a synthetic oil. i did not know why we do not use that in automobiles more? we use it in some cars now, but i understand it only takes one filter to change the whole system over. why don't we mandate all cars manufactured or shipped in this country must use synthetic oil? it would save tremendous amount of money and no reason why we can't or shouldn't use it? if aircraft use it, automobiles. it would also help with emissions. guest: i am not sure i could be totally responsive. my understanding is syn fuels generally, oils and synthetic fuels of many kinds, it is still expensive to produce those so we
do not have an ample supply of any of that. it is probably not economic to develop one. we do think we have had a push to have all cars coming into the market, all cars and trucks coming into the market, being flex fuel, meaning they could use biofuels or regular gasoline. that is a good thing to do and it can be done relatively cheaply. as we use more and more biofuels, one of the reasons why we have been able to reduce our imports of foreign oil so much has been increased use of biofuels in the transportation section -- sector. host: last question for you -- this week two developments in health care. we have a couple of calls about. one was the senate vote, failed, 57 supporting a -- health care,
and the amendment by senator weicker. and they federal judge that ruled that federal health care plan unconstitutional. i am wondering what you think the state of the health-care law is going to being with these legislative and legal court challenges to it? >> legislatively, i don't think the votes are there in the senate to do any kind of repeal of the health care bill. as i say, i support the health care legislation, so i am glad to see that. as far as the courts are concerned, there are challenges. we've got two judges who said it was fine and two judges who have said it is unconstitutional and one judge said in some respects it is unconstitutional and another said it is totally unconstitutional. it is all going to the supreme court and they will have the final word on it. but the legal experts we heard
from when we were developing the legislation seem fairly confident that it would survive any challenge such as those that are now being made against it. host: we always appreciate you coming and taking your calls. we will be right back. of the final segment is actually going to be on the situation with jobs. we will delaware the little more into the jobless numbers and talk to a reporter -- we will delve a little bit more into the jobless numbers and talk about what their is a gap between american workers and the skills. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> because of the extraordinary use of filibuster, the ability of our government to legislate and to address the critical problems is severely jeopardized. >> isn't it true that senator byrd says forceful confrontation of the threat of a
filibuster is undoubtedly the anecdote to the malady and senator byrd did not want us tampering -- >> the filibuster remains intact but there are a few new rules and the senate. find out what they are with c- span's congressional chronicle what time lines and transcripts of every house and senate session. at7 c-span.org/congress. >> the whole environment that politics had come apart. it had become polluted and destroyed and violet -- violence. >> it document producer on hubert h. humphrey, the art of the possible. >> are the reason for going documentary was sort of on the side, because everyone remembers someone who was looking lyndon johnson's votes all the time and had no mind of his own and people did not understand the pressures he was under. >> a q&a, sunday night at 8:00
on c-span. >> sunday on book tv's "in- depth," the founder of "the american spectator" magazine has written over a half dozen books. his latest -- "after the hang over." join our three-hour conversation with your e-mails, phone calls, and tweets. live, sunday at noon eastern on book tv on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: let me introduce our final guest, stephen rose, a georgetown university, senior economist for the center on education and the work force and we are pleased to have them back at the table. i want to read the details of the ap story on the unemployment rate which is hard to interpret
what does that all mean to you? guest: first of all, there are two separate surveys. the two main numbers come from different surveys. one as a survey of employers, and that is the 36,000 number. normally we consider that a stronger number for the total because it is kind of like administrative survey and employers obviously know how many are on their payroll. the unemployment number comes from a survey of people, the census population survey. that is only about 180,000
people. we ask individuals are they looking and we do a lot of follow-up questions on that. basically what you have is an unemployment survey setting 36 and another saying 500,000. these are monthly variations and we shouldn't get too concerned about necessarily the low numbers and we should be looking at the multi-month trend. the multi-month trend, though, is still low on employment gains. let us just _ that. if we don't start creating over 100, 200, even over 300,000 jobs a month, the unemployment rate will be high for a long time. that is the question that i will be addressing over the course of today's discussion. is it possible by april we could be seeing 300,000 or more a month?
i would argue lukewarm. we will see what happens next month. the unemployment rate going to ninth -- going to 9% was pretty dramatic. i would not be surprised to see it rise the next couple of months. these are statistical issues. these are not precise numbers. even employer surveys, who we survey changes because of small companies that are forming and falling apart. none of the numbers are rock- solid. host: where is the fulcrum as to where the economy is right now question of guest: what we know is the recession still -- recession set up by a financial crisis takes longer to get back on track. >> are we getting back on track? guest: at this moment the indicators are positive. one of the more positive indicators is companies have $2
trillion in their coffers in cash. if confidence were to be regained, it would be surprising how fast we could start to have employment go up. it has been a dicey thing. companies have been staying on the sideline. it is like, who goes first? demand for somebody else's product -- they can expand, which creates demand for my product. it is called a virtuous cycle. as the economy grows, it is just wonderful to watch. we just don't know when it will start. for instance, if you go back to the last time we had 10% unemployment, which was in 1983, they were predicting that was going to stay for a year or two because they did not expect a lot of job growth but then all of a sudden the economy started to grow and employment growth, which would be the equivalent of 400,000 jobs a month in the middle of 1983. host: one more issue on the
table. i really want people to get to your calls. we will put another line on the screen because we have a line just for job-seekers. those who have been looking and have been unsuccessful. tell us your concerns or your observations. we invited you in because in " the washington post" -- lots of jobs but fewer workers with skills to fit them. what do you see happening? guest: i think that is a bit of an exaggeration. employment is always -- there are rough spots and there are mismatches, as to call them, of skills versus seekers and everyone likes to believe that the stories about when walmart announces they will have a 500 jobs, and line of 5000 people waiting for them. but that does not always happen that way. and when it doesn't happen that way -- that is, you have a situation where there is a large
number of unplayed -- unemployed and seemingly jobs better not filled it becomes news because it is unusable. why can't these be built? the best estimates i have seen -- a friend of mine at northeastern did a study for the federal reserve board. he argued the bass -- that the responsibility of mitch match of the unemployment rate was about a percent and have or two -- 2%. about 20% of the unemployed don't have the right skills to get the jobs. but most jobs, there are people looking. this is a recession. and the long term, i would argue we obviously need to upgrade the skills of the labor force. but i think that most of the unemployment was due to the recession rather than a mismatch of skills. host: stephen rose, sr. prof. --
he has written a book "rebound: why america will emerge stronger from the financial crisis." we are talking about jobs and the economy. lagrange, ky. good morning to my, who is a job seeker. caller: i think a lot of these corporations are sitting on the trillions of dollars until they get the right politicians. if we start taxing on this money until the start investing maybe we will get jobs. that is my comment. thank you very much. have a nice day. host: tax policy and job creation. guest: tax policy is pretty neutral to job creation. i did not think we will need to tax them anymore. corporate tax reform is on the agenda. the worst of both worlds, high marginal rate but lots of loopholes, and that may change in this congress, and that would
be a good thing that i think, again, it is a business cycle of fact. our taxes, compared to our competitors in europe, are lower, so i really did not see it as a major effect. host: milwaukee, nancy, independent line. caller: has that ever been a survey done on older workers, say, over 45. the ones who did not grow up with computers, who are trying to compete with the younger workers. it is impossible. i am 50. i have friends over 50 and it is almost impossible for us to find work anymore besides pushing carts at wal-mart and there are not that many cards anymore. host: are you looking for a job right now? >> yes, i am. i found a job and fired after two months because i was not fast enough. i am at a loss. host: what job had you been working at, the major job, that
you lost? caller: ne customer service type of job. there are lots there but the older workers are getting laid off, they are getting replaced by the younger workers, and what are we going to do? host: are older workers having a harder time? caller: 100% true. this is a weakness of when you have the deep recessions and restructuring, companies -- all but workers tended be more expensive. as the caller said, sometimes are not as familiar with the newest technology. when you are in the family and have a computer problem, it will be the 14-year-old that will help you rather than the mother or father. there are many studies and it is clearly confirmed that when somebody over 50 gets laid off, it is much harder to get re- employed. this is just a weakness we have
-- weakness. maybe we need safety net programs and more special programs for older workers. host: phenix city, alabama. this is charles. republican minority caller: good morning, mr. rose. host: yes sir, we can hear you. caller: i said good morning, mr. rose. guest: good morning. caller: i have a question and nobody seems to want to touch it. if we go here and track back of loss -- this country basically was billed as a blue-collar country. the loss of blue caller -- blue- collar jobs of was a result of nafta and wto. if this thing was reversed, jobs would come back. put tariffs on these products coming in, revenue comes in. why does everyone refused to acknowledge this? these job exits have been going on since 1994, which was mr.
clinton and his democratic party. i will rate -- wait for your answer. guest: free-trade hat -- free trade has more support among republicans than democrats. nafta certainly was passed under the clinton administration but it acted with a majority of republican votes. that said, after nafta passed, one should remember ross perot ran an 1992 on the great sucking sound that would happen if nafta passed. i was with the clinton administration at the time at the department of labor and starting in 1994 -- again, it took time. when clinton first came on and the first 18 months it was caught the jobless recovery but once it started to take off there was remarkable job growth -- 21 million net new jobs created. by the end of 1999, the highest unemployment rate of the population that we ever had in the history of the country. certainly, nafta in the short run can't be said to have caused job loss.
the terms of trade -- it is easy to look at and say we could have done that, and why couldn't -- stop that and produce it at home. by and large, what happened is productivity advances. if we look at coal production or steel production, it can be measured quite easily. millions of metric tons. we actually produce the same amount of coal and steel today as we did in 1960. we do it with one quarter of the labor force. in fact, world wide, manufacturing employment as a share of unemployment is down significantly and that every country. this is what productivity does. it frees up what is required in the past, workers are needed to produce and allows us to go and other things. so, while i think we need to clearly negotiate trade agreements with labor conditions and we have to be
wary of situations like the chinese artificially keeping their currency very low, i think this is a small effect. the notion we can grow our way back on the basis of manufacturing is unfortunately i think a myth. host: this is a tweet -- guest: home foreclosures is indeed a negative factor. one of the reasons it is taking so long for us to get back on our feet. in a recession, let's say in the 1950's and 1960's, a lot of people said they were really driven by housing and auto, the drivers of economic growth. one of the things the u.s. economy is good at is reacting quickly to things. therefore, when the housing market was strong, we really expanded housing production. unfortunately, when you expand housing production and then the housing market craters, what you
are left with is a lot of inventory. it will take a while before we can clear the inventory and start getting construction going again. foreclosures, obviously, is a drag on christ -- prices, puts more units on the market. this is one of the reasons why it is taking so long for this recovery to get off and start going strong. host: talking about jobs and the economy with a doctor stephen rose from georgetown university, nationally recognized labor economist and his later -- latest book is "rebound." georgia. jim is a republican. caller: i really wanted to talk to senator bingaman -- guest: i will do my best. caller: my company went out of business two years ago. employed nine people. the federal government has done absolutely nothing to help the small businessman stay in business. host: what kind of company did
you have? caller: grappling business -- over 60 years. host: why did it go out of business? caller: pricing as much as everything -- oil, hangers, anything you bought was doubling in price in the last two or three years. it was just a losing proposition. my business is not the only one. there have been a half a dyfed -- doesn't cleaners that closed up. host: and hit in 2008 by people cutting back on dry cleaning in a bad economy. caller: you are right. host: you said you want more federal writ -- support. what could the federal government have done? caller: could put up small business loans to the people who wanted to stay in business but they have not done that much. the obama administration and the
democrats have cut more jobs than we can shake a stick at. they are in contempt on oil drilling -- and how many jobs that would produce, i don't know. guest: one of the virtues of our economy is flexibility. on for -- fortunately it has an upside. when market forces change, you can go out of business. when an economy is working well, about a million jobs each month are being created and slightly less than a million are being let go. so we have a vibrant, churning economy. both democrats and republicans are committed to small businesses. there is only so much you can do. the sba is funded and there are loans available, but obviously
when you apply for these loans, they will be looking at the market and how viable these things are. i know politicians are committed to this. and again, this is an effect of the recession and hopefully we will turn the corner soon. host: for stephen rose, brooklyn, a democrat. caller: to may, the real number of unemployed is closer to 30 million if you count those off the rolls and not being counted. taking a couple of years to bring back jobs. i want to know how dr. rose feels about unemployment expenses particularly for the 99ers. guest: this has been an important issue for the administration and pushed hard to get extensions passed and passed again. surveys asked a lot of detailed questions. as the caller notes, there are various ways to measure unemployment.
other categories, change if -- to change it closer to 17% is involuntary part-time, people will want to work full time but can only find part-time jobs. that is the main number. then another number call discouraged workers. people who say they are not looking but have given up because they just don't think there are jobs out there. the reason why we know these numbers is because we ask a lot of detailed questions. over the years, the census bureau has really tried to tease out this issue. they have produced for many years since unemployment rates, including various definitions to address this issue so we are fully aware of this. host: the next question for stephen rose comes from -- sorry, let us move on to the next one. tennessee. this is dave. republican line. you are on, david. caller: good morning. i own a small business, and to
make, at least what i am seeing, is the financial underpinnings of the economy are good. consumer debt paid off and massive quantities. we have divided government, which typically is helpful. but the overreach of the federal government in the last two years and the tax implications have been so profound that what i am saying is it is a psychological thing but the american public. they are absolutely scared to death of of what is going on in this economy. the weirdest thing is if obamacare was repealed, i think it would be a huge stimulus to the economy. not a tax cut, just a repeal of an existing federal mandate. host: what kind of business do you have and how many employees? caller: 9 employees, and the fireside and gas grill business. guest: this is a very political
issue. by and large, economists don't find that doing away with obamacare would be a big positive jolt to the economy. first of all, very few of the provisions were put in effect and the notion that somehow or another people making decisions about what will happen at 18 months from now is something most of us did not think what is happening. in terms of taxes, obama under the administration, taxes are lower than when obama came in. it is a little hard to say he has taxed the recovery away. this is a recession brought by a deep financial crisis set up by a series of blunders by wall street. let us be clear that was initiated this. a lot of people took part. the people who bought homes in which -- how can i afford this?
gee, if you have to say how can i afford this, you probably can't. there were appraisers, people trying to get the fast buck. everybody thought it was going to continue -- based on a house of cards. wall street started off. the only industry that could really bring the economy down the way it did, because it is the center of every other industry. every other industry makes its plans and the basis of using loan funds for interim projects, to deal with costs over a long time. would not have as much of their own money at stake if they could use lines of credit. we are in the midst of a financial crisis. everything looks buyer now. things seemed to be turning around. we are at a turning point. not where we want to be, not economically strong. a lot of people are hurting and
we will see what happens in the future. host: michigan pettitte rebecca -- michigan, rebecca. job seekers. caller: i am calling for my husband because he refuses to discuss it any more. do you hear me? [laughter] i am sorry. i wanted to make something real clear. they always cut me off before i can finish. my husband is not laying around on the couch doing nothing. he is depressed, yes. he has been on those bills, you know, on a lot of pills since he got laid off all but now we cannot afford to pay for them anymore. he worked for 29 years at a foundry and was laid off and for the first year he applied
everywhere -- everywhere but grocery stores, wal-mart, ok? he was making $29 an hour. but he never even got a callback for 19 months. and he had four call backs that month -- got in, he was one of four -- chosen and did not get the job. the first job he was offered, he took. he is now working at a gas station for minimum-wage. and to tell you the truth, he loves it, as far as being able to get out and have a job. but it is not enough to pay our bills and we don't have insurance anymore. we have bills -- he has shots he
needs for ms that are $1,000 a month that he has not taken and he is getting wobbly and it will get worse. one more thing -- is 56. host: what is the moral of this story or the question you want people to understand based on what you experience? caller: what i want them to experience is -- here is a man who has given his whole life to a company and all of the sudden, they just throw them away and he can't get a job anywhere else because of his age. everyone -- this man, too -- i am not criticizing you. but we have had so many people, the show saying, that is right. over 50, it is kind of tough. and that is the end of it. aboutn't you do something
it? guest: obviously your husband is one of the casualties of the winds of economic change. it sometimes happens even when there is a strong economy. obviously it happens much more when there is a weak economy. the only kind of programs for people like your husband are really based on western european models of a very strong safety net. they have higher taxes but they replace up to 80% of prior earnings and retrain 50 year olds for a long time. i notice you are from a republican line. what would help your husband is for us to be more light europe. that is not on the agenda in the united states and something the republicans have no interest for voting for. host: we are out of time. it would begin as may be imminent -- a minute. guest: economies are funny things.
when they are working, everyone is making their individual decisions. and all of these individual decisions lead to strong growth and income. when they are knocked off their moorings, as in the financial crisis, it is hard to get back. once the virtual cycle starts -- and i don't know when it will start. it could start as early as this spring and then we will be seeing strong growth this year. it could start next year. it may be very anemic growth this year but the consensus view overwhelmingly among economists is that it will start in the next 24 months, and certainly by a number of years out it will be strong. some of us believe it will be sooner and some believe it will be later. host: thank you for being here.
of it is sooner. come back again. dr. stephen rose from georgetown. we have 20 minutes this friday morning and we would use it for open phones. if you would like to talk about jobs, the economy, egypt and things we have not talked about, your agenda. we will put the phone numbers on the screen. as we begin, a bit of a c-span story. you probably heard the news earlier that with the incoming speaker, speaker boehner, we petitioned him, as we have with incoming speaker pelosi and before her, newt gingrich, to allow c-span to put its own cameras and the chamber of the house of representatives so you can see the debate from a journalist's point of view rather than government cameras. we just got our answer last night from speaker boehner's office -- i would like to read to you. thank you for your letter requesting that c-span be permitted to install its own private cameras in the house chamber. consistent with the precedent set by former speakers, i believe the american people --
and the dignity and decorum of the house of representatives -- the best served by the current system of televised proceedings provided by the house recording studio. the current practice ensure that every word spoken during the does lead debates never exchanged between members or what the chair is broadcast live. lawmakers know that when they step up to speak, the nation is watching. and when citizens to an income of whether online or cable, they get a front row view of representatives debating and discussing the legislative business. this helps keep the public informed and ensure an accurate historical record for nearly 30 years. from the beginning of the republican -- congress has found new ways to make the legislative process more open and accessible. the new majority in the house has taken significant steps in this regard. i am committed to continuing that spirit of innovation during my time as speaker. i know you share this passion and thank you for everything c- span does to bring the house closer to the people it serves. sincerely, john boehner. so, answer, no to c-span cameras and the house chamber.
gottfried, illinois, democrats might get caller: i wanted to talk about electric cars. the politician you had earlier talking about electric cars said it might be a rough road, or something like this, to hoe. host: i think he said the the president's agenda to have a certain number by 2035 would be difficult to achieve. guest: it will be if they don't go about it the right way. for anybody interested in the subject, all you have to do is go online and do a search. type in israeli electric cars, and when it brings up the search, and down to the website, better place.
there is a man in israel by the name of shea aggasi who has a program to go worldwide with battery exchange program, with a battery exchange program, that is completely robotic. instead of trying to recharge batteries and cars, it changes them out and it takes less than a minute. host: thank you for the idea. bradford, pennsylvania. a friend from republican. caller: good morning, sue. i am a little tired of talking about the economy without talking about an industrial policy. our companies are saddled with health insurance, which cost them a fortune. they will not come back to the united states.
we have great american companies in china. they are not in china for the food. they are in china because they are not going to pay that tend doused -- $10,000 a year health costs for employees. you should have an industry policy that will help these companies return. what we have in congress is think tanks. there are no congressman. your congressmen will stand up and tell you the government cannot run anything. let's healthcare run at, and it is costing us our jobs. that must be discussed honestly. these people have a no-bid contract to screw the country. i sold 3000 shares of halliburton stock that i got for 20 bucks, got 154 it. -- for it. they are hurting the national problems. host: california. leo, a democrat.
caller: one thing i would like to say -- when you have the calls coming in like this, it would be nice if of party was put on there and the age on the screen. we need at least one minute to call. you give everybody plenty of time and you allow them to talk. a lot of your people who work in the morning don't do that. the main reason i called is, there is so much disinformation out there that when a person calls, they should really say where they get the information. whether it is cnn or whatever. because there are some many lies coming out. one station i watches cnbc west -- and it has "the untold
wealth, the rise of the super rich. " a couple of sticks it -- statistics. 49,000 u.s. households earning between $50 million to $500 million a year. in the next 50 years, those super rich are going to -- $27 trillion. people want to make it untaxed. in 1985 -- 1% controls 90% of the wealth. in 1985, we had 13 billionaires'. now we have over 1000 billionaires'. host: thank you. northfield, new hampshire. mark, independent. caller: good morning. it just a couple of points.
obamacare was pitched to us to have 40 million people who are uninsured, it ensured. the actual number is 15 million people. still 25 million people who are going to not have health care. that problem has not been solved. the biggest bomb to drop is going to be saving fanning and freddie, -- fannie and freddie zee in debt, and that is about to collapse on the economy. when chris dodd and barney frank said everything is fine, the stock markets are fine, and then they all crashed, and turn around and blame the people who work at the stock markets when they are just individual people doing their job. the government is the problem. every time the government gets involved, things go bad. 15 million people for obamacare, not 30 or 40 million like a promise. we still have to ensure 25 million people.
i am just wondering how much of that is going to cost us. host: this weekend, "in debt," 3 hours with an offer. "american spectator," the feature writer this week. you can call and ask about his views of politics, the economy, and others that he has been writing about for so many years. next is a phone call from atlanta. jonathan, republican. caller: good morning. i wanted to get on with your economist -- wanted to taken to task for a few things. well, first of all, i did point to say, i heard a bloomberg economist a few weeks back talking about 100,000 jobs among being created was right around 1% growth. according to his calculations,
36,000 jobs in this month is one-third of 1% growth in the economy. he was also saying the real unemployment is actually 16.5%. that was pretty high. i was kind of waiting for your guest to actually offer some solutions. maybe i missed. he also mentions -- going back ry to 1983. he said all of a sudden, after no growth for years, we had 10% unemployment, and then, boom, 400,000 jobs a month were created. he forgot to mention that after no growth for years, 10% -- the economy in many ways was much worse. i got an old "newsweek" magazine from 1980, economy in crisis. 79-82 was terrible. but remember, january 1, 1983,
the biggest stimulus package, the biggest tax cut since calvin coolidge went into effect and by the end of the year we had 7.5, nearly 8% growth in the economy and then that is when it took off. nearly 20 million jobs created. even revenues to the government doubled in the 1980's. they outspent the torrential downpours of revenues that came in to the government because the growth in the economy. i wish people would go back and look at 1920 -- the ronald reagan, calvin coolidge tax cut -- it was much greater effect than that. host: thank you. from atlanta, georgia. i wanted to tell you about a c- spanner we are saying goodbye to. he was retired for a number of years but pivotal to this network. in 1981, one we were brand new, he left a 30-year career at the
house ready and television gallery, the body that helps with coverage of the house of as c-span's first about 15 and please. mike michaelson, our friend, washington, d.c. . we talk to him during are making of the documentary about the capital. he tells an interesting historical story when puerto rican nationalists fired shots. >> march 1, 1954, that is when the four puerto ricans enter the capital, the house gallery, where i was working, and began to shoot into the chamber. five members of congress were wounded. no one died.
i was a staffer at that time in the gallery. the position was to set at the end tax of the gallery. we took notes and kept abreast of what was happening. at that time, we were debating a bill which was almost very much in the news today, called the -- it was a bill allowing immigrant workers from the south of our borders to come into california and arizona and mexico to work the fields and harvest the fruit and things like that. it was pretty controversial, even then. and i turned around and noticed people came in the door, to my left, and then i turned around and looked at them. i figured they were just tourists, like so many people. and i paid no more attention to them. for some reason or another -- i have never been able to fathom this -- i decided i cannot hear very well. i still have that problem.
so, i moved my seat further down the aisle. so i could be almost directly above the speaker. so i could hear better. which was true, you could hear better. it wasn't 10 seconds after i moved that i heard this loud, popping noise. and i turned around in my seat to my left and looked up and i saved the people standing up with guns and hand and a woman standing with them and she had a big flag and she was waving the flag back and forth. i ducked underneath the ledge. they had a rating ledge. and a phone right there. host: mike michelson telling the story and that -- of the time when procter regan nationals fired shots in the chamber. -- puerto rican national's fired shots in the chamber. he was a great mentor to young
journalist, including this one. mike, we are going to miss you. thank you for everything. next call is from the jersey. mark, independent pretty mccaw i think the major problem in this country is we got control -- totally confused of the real values. we have to return the values. i think we have to get rid of all these free trade deals with terrorists back in place, put the money into social security and medicare. the other thing we need to do is for the construction workers in this country -- and what people consider meaningless labor, and we need to get rid of illegal aliens so the american families can survive. we have to start being about the american people again. all this world stuff, we need to forget about it and take care of household and it needs to start here. i ran for congress last year on this. i tried to have debates and other things with my congressmen and he just refuses to even address any of these issues. and yet i am a terrorist.
host: james, a republican, louisiana. caller: good morning, susan and my sympathies for c-span's loss. it has been five days since the judge issued the ruling on the constitutionality of the health care bill. and i am still waiting on "washington journal" to have a segment on it. please, he scheduled a segment and maybe a roundtable on sunday so we can discuss the pros and cons of his ruling. host: i do not know if one is specifically scheduled on that ruling but we talked about health care and the court challenges. we have the virginia attorney general who was at the table here -- leading va's court challenge. the issue has gotten lots of discussion and more in the future. next is michigan. this is brian on the democrats' line but let me push the button so you can be on the air. caller: thank you for c-span and all the work you do.
i would like to stay at 4 everybody -- people on disability, social security -- disability, they are -- that they are lazy. the state of michigan cut my premium that they were paying through medicaid to medicare part b. that represented about 12% decrease in my monthly take- home. 11,002 runs and $92, and they take $1,320 for the premium -- $11,292 dollars. and they doubled up on my co- pays for my meds. have a good day. god bless america. host: martin who is from michigan. good morning. caller: i wanted to make three points that i can't. i will make them as fast as i
possibly can. i love c-span because it takes care of pretty much of the various press media that we have. first, i would like to say that the people, we the people, but -- -- the first branch of government. if people realize that we might get back to getting our country back. second, i would like to address the health care issue. i plan to run for office in the great state of michigan and i came up with a solution for health care using st. jude's, jerry's kids model. it keeps the government completely out. this is the model that works. it takes pre-existing conditions. they have one hospital in the united states, spent trillions of dollars on research and it is completely ran by the private sector. it keeps the democrats and republicans out of the mix --
keeping them completely out and the private sector running it. i guess those two points will be the most valid. i've done research and studies and found that the over all accumulated wealth of the united states of america is $7.20 trillion, from everything we own from our furnishing and we have $14 trillion debt. i am a political atheist because i don't believe in government but if the two sides of the aisle don't come together we will not that our country back. they have to start clipping down the debt. unemployment just dropped to 9% -- so just burn more money to pay the $4 billion in interest that we have. thank you for the call. host: just a couple of minutes left. we will get a few more calls in as we wrap up. cleveland, leonard, a democrat. caller: good morning. thank you for me getting in. i appreciate getting all of the comments -- especially the
gentleman from new jersey where we the people got to start here at home. we need to get rid of the presidency out of the government -- once the and that the official is there he is no longer an independent, a democrat, more or republican. he should be for the people, doing the best for our country. starting off, medicare, people on social security, they don't get an increase in their payment for the years. i feel the government should put a freeze on their pay wages -- not getting extra $8,000 a year pay raise or 8 per cent, whether it was but i don't remember the correct numbers. i feel that would help the people recovered -- recover. we the people pay for their insurance with their pay,
whereas that to come back to the people into the debt and that the public -- government paper on services. host: thank you very much. a tweet -- indiana. next up. republican line. caller: i wanted to talk about what would bring republicans and democrats together. and that is this false idea that republicans are against the poor and the democrats are for the poor and middle-class. if you increase the expense of doing business, be it through increased taxes or regulations, one of five things will happen -- either you are going to increase the cost of goods and services, which hurts the poor and middle-class the most, or you are going to reduce the price employers can pay, wages
to employees, or did they will have to lay them off, which hurts the poor and middle-class the most, or you are going to have to move overseas where the taxes and regulations are not as extensive, or you are going to go out of business. all of which hurt the poor and middle-class the most. so, the republicans are in favor of helping the poor and middle- class by lowering taxes and having no more regulations that we absolutely have to have. thank you. host: c-span junkie tweets -- a retweet -- senator we did not get to the patriot act. it is hard to do all of the topics and get your phone calls in. washington is up n